Courtesy of Boeing
After months of its newest planes being grounded, officials from airplane maker Boeing said that it is now just a matter of weeks until the Dreamliners are able to fly commercially again.
All of the 50 Boeing 787’s in use worldwide were grounded in January, two of which belong to Polish airline LOT. One is waiting in its hangar in Warsaw, the other in Chicago.
After a meeting between LOT and Boeing officials last Friday, the airline’s spokesperson Marek Kłuciński said that he expects the Dreamliners in the air “in the summer.” Mr Kłuciński added that the matter of compensation was discussed. “It has been agreed that all of the advanced payments for planes that were to be delivered in 2014 have been postponed.”
The Dreamliner’s problems stem from an issue with its battery. In January, one caught fire on a Japan Airlines machine and another melted on an All Nippon Airways flight. After weeks of trying to find a solution to this problem, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved a plan to test the device for further certification.
“If we look at the normal process and the way in which we work with the FAA, and we look at the testing that’s ahead of us, it is reasonable to expect we could be back up and going in weeks, not months,” the 787’s chief engineer, Mike Sinnett, said at a briefing in Tokyo.
Mr Sinnett admitted, however, that the company was unable to find the root cause of the problem, and just worked around it instead.
The new battery was redesigned and reinforced. According to its designers it can withstand 80 possible malfunctions, covering all of the potential failure scenarios that they could envisage. The aircraft maker will also bolster quality control at battery component makers.
If the certification process proves successful, the company will start fixing the planes in the order they were delivered, as the company doesn’t have the capacity to work on all 50 planes at the same time.
LOT expects to be one of the first airlines to have its machines fixed.
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